Learning lunches are informal gatherings where participants come together over a meal to listen to a speaker who shares insights, expertise, or experiences on a specific topic. These events provide an opportunity for personal and professional growth while fostering networking and collaboration among attendees. Learning lunches can be organised within companies, professional associations, or community groups.
Since lockdown and more working from home, here at Great British Speakers we find most learning lunches are either delivered totally online or as a hybrid, where those in an office environment can meet the speaker in person and those working remotely can join virtually.
a. Continuous Learning: Learning lunches offer a convenient and time-efficient way to engage in ongoing professional development. They allow participants to expand their knowledge, learn new skills, and stay updated with industry trends without disrupting their regular work schedule.
b. Networking Opportunities: These events provide an informal setting for individuals to connect and build relationships with like-minded professionals. The shared learning experience fosters networking, collaboration, and the exchange of ideas, which can lead to valuable connections and potential collaborations.
c. Employee Engagement: Incorporating learning lunches in the workplace promotes a culture of continuous learning and demonstrates a commitment to employee development. It can boost employee morale, motivation, and engagement by providing opportunities for growth and skill enhancement.
In the days of ‘The Great Resignation’, it’s an ideal platform to engage and retain hard-to-recruit staff.
a. Define the Topic and Audience: Determine the specific topic or theme for the learning lunch based on the interests and needs of the participants. Consider the knowledge gaps or areas of interest within the group to ensure the speaker’s content is relevant and valuable.
b. Utilise Online Platforms: Online platforms like Google and Reddit can be valuable resources for finding potential speakers. Use relevant search terms, explore industry-specific forums, and join professional communities to discover experts who are knowledgeable and passionate about the chosen topic. You can also use the Great British Speakers talent search HERE
c. Tap into Personal and Professional Networks: Leverage your personal and professional networks for example on Linkedin to identify speakers who have expertise in the subject matter. Seek recommendations from colleagues, industry associations, or professional contacts who may know suitable speakers or have attended engaging presentations in the past.
d. Speaker Directories and Agencies: Explore speaker directories and agencies that specialise in connecting event organisers with speakers. These platforms provide access to a diverse pool of experienced speakers who can deliver engaging presentations for learning lunches. Great British Speakers, TED Talks, and similar professional speaker agencies are examples of such resources.
e. Research and Evaluate Speakers: Once you have a list of potential speakers, conduct thorough research on their background, expertise, and speaking experience. Watch their previous talks or presentations, review their online presence, and seek testimonials or recommendations from past engagements to gauge their ability to engage and educate an audience. We have spent literally years doing all the groundwork for you, all our talent at Great British Speakers have full profiles, CVs, noted speaking topics and videos so you can check them out.
If you contact us with a brief outline of your needs, we can create a suitable shortlist for you attainable within your budget.
f. Reach out and Confirm: Confirm the selected speakers to discuss the event details, including date, time, format, and compensation. Ensure that the speaker’s availability aligns with your preferred date and that the financial arrangements are agreed upon, using something such as our Great British Speakers booking form.
G. The all-important briefing session: Many bureaus and agents treat this as a nuisance. At Great British Speakers, we think it’s essential. We always organise a briefing session where the speaker can really get to grips first-hand with your needs in a way a simple set of written notes doesn’t.
It makes for a really successful event no matter what size, in person or online.
Learning lunches offer a unique opportunity for professionals to expand their knowledge and build meaningful connections in a relaxed setting. By carefully selecting speakers who are experts in their field and possess engaging presentation skills, you can create memorable and impactful learning experiences. Utilise online platforms, personal networks, and speaker directories to identify potential speakers, and thoroughly evaluate their expertise before finalising your choice. By organising learning lunches with insightful speakers, you can foster continuous learning, networking, and professional growth within your organisation or community.
About the author:
Jane Farnham is perfectly placed to offer guidance on booking the ideal public speaker. After working as a presenter for the BBC, numerous independent production companies and Blue Chip commercial corporate organisations globally she founded Great British Presenters, Great British Voices followed by Great British Speakers, the latest incarnation of the Great British Talent brand.